Perhaps you’ve been in a medical imaging center before or had a diagnostic imaging test performed on you. Have you looked around and wondered what the medical reasoning behind some of the things you see are? Or, perhaps you have an MRI scheduled that you are anxious about and are wondering how you will make it through because you are so nervous. Fret not, your MRI technician is well aware that the average citizen is uncomfortable with the thought of an MRI based on either the fear of the unknown or as a result of negative experiences by a friend or family member.
At Touchstone Imaging, it is our mission to create a warm, comfortable, inviting environment with caring and attentive staff. When you visit us for your medical imaging needs, you will have all of your questions answered and feel like a real priority — because you are! In today’s post, we will reveal some industry secrets that MRI techs use to help make the MRI procedure more comfortable.
Gone are the days of counting the pores in ceiling tiles, or how many ceiling tiles there are. Following in suit of dental practice, many MRI centers use ceiling tile art, light covers, or simply hang posters or art on the ceilings or upper walls. If you aren’t used to looking up at the ceiling, you may not notice until your eyes are searching for something to focus on during your procedure. Ceiling art helps provide a distraction and is comforting when you are lying still. After all, you cannot read your social media feed on your mobile device during the procedure.
One of the most powerful prophylactic medications and comfort devices is music. Some MRI centers will play “elevator music” overhead or will offer you your own headphones and let you request the genre. Music serves a multi-fold purpose for MRI patients. First, the large magnet in the MRI machine creates a very loud humming that cannot be turned off, and it can be intimidating to some patients. Additionally, music helps patients hold still during the procedure by offering them comfort and a pleasant distraction. Music also helps the time pass much more comfortably.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Some medical imaging centers opt to attempt to minimize the sound an MRI machine makes by offering noise-canceling headphones or earplugs for patients. This can be very soothing for some, and even allow patients to drift off for a short catnap. For any patient who uses them, noise-canceling headphones can block the noise of the MRI machine and make the experience much more peaceful.
One of the oldest and most widely used comfort tactics is the use of blankets to keep patients warm during the MRI procedure. Some medical imaging centers even go the extra mile to warm the blankets before use. Blankets can provide warmth and help you not feel as vulnerable or exposed.
Padding the Device
The MRI table is a hard, medical table that offers very little padding or comfort, but allows the MRI technician to take accurate images. To help keep you comfortable, your MRI technician may use a variety of foam blocks, pillows, and blankets to help relieve pressure and make you more comfortable.
Touch is the oldest comfort trick in the book! There is nothing quite like a sympathetic hand on your shoulder to make you feel grounded, connected, and heard. Your MRI technician may offer you a hand to make you feel more comfortable. In a room with a giant machine, it can be just the thing to calm your nerves and offer you the reassurance you need.
Explaining the Process
Information is power. And, there is little that is more comforting than being in the know. Your MRI technician will answer all of your questions prior to beginning the procedure and will talk you through the process as you go. You’ll know exactly what to expect and that does wonders to provide comfort.
Medical facilities with stark white walls and bright fluorescent lights are what horror movies are made of. Modern medical facilities incorporate color into wall paint and floor tiles as well as more comfortable lighting to offer a warmer, more inviting environment. Since the MRI machine is producing the images and a well-lit room is not required, your MRI technician may dim the lights to make things more comfortable, and encourage the catnap we referenced earlier!
The radiology technologists at Touchstone Imaging have a lot of experience in making MRI scans more comfortable for their patients. We attempt to anticipate needs and be proactive in reducing anxiety and providing comfort. As with anything, if you are uncomfortable with anything, just let us know and we can offer alternatives. For all of your medical imaging needs, find a location near you and discover the Touchstone difference.